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Catholic Higher Education and Catholic Social Thought

Edited by Bernard G. Prusak and Jennifer Reed-Bouley; Foreword by Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ

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Responding to the signs of the time, this book brings the lens of Catholic social thought (CST) to the enterprise of Catholic higher education in the United States. This book throws light on what Catholic colleges and universities might and must do in order both to preserve their mission and renew it for the future.


"Leading a Catholic college or university in today's challenging circumstances requires a wide range of skills and a capacity for understanding multiple issues and heeding multiple voices. In this volume, Prusak and Reed-Bouley have assembled an impressive group of Catholic thought leaders and asked them to reflect on the critical issues we face, and the concrete circumstances in which we face them, in light of the Gospel commands for justice, love, and service, which we call Catholic social thought (CST). The result is a volume not only for educators, but for everyone—trustees, alumni, Church leaders—interested in and responsible for guiding and shaping Catholic higher education into the future."
—Michael J. Garanzini, SJ, president, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities

"Do not expect this book to reside exclusively in libraries at Catholic colleges and universities. To the contrary, Bernard Prusak and Jennifer Reed-Bouley's volume on CST is an indispensable companion for every institution of learning where people of all faith traditions (or none) grapple with the excruciating social concerns of our time. The contributors to this essential collection are accomplished scholars known for applying the rich CST history to the thorniest problems of contemporary times."
—Linda M. LeMura, president, Le Moyne College

"This timely and useful book invites Catholic educators and administrators to change how they see CST. It is not something to be confined to ethics classes or overarching mission statements. It is a powerful and practical tool for engaging all facets of Catholic higher education, from labor practices, to admissions and budgets, to struggles for gender equity and racial justice, to the pursuit of solidarity on a local and global scale. It is a whole way of life for each campus and institution. Although the living tradition of CST may not always provide easy or quick solutions to the complex problems we face, it helps us ask the right questions and start the right conversations. Each chapter is informative and stimulating, and, as a full collection, this volume is simply top notch."
—Andrew Prevot, associate professor of theology, Boston College

"At a time when institutions of higher education are facing difficult and troubling questions about their mission, operations, and their very survival, Catholic Higher Education and Catholic Social Thought comes as a much-needed provocation to face these questions boldly and faithfully. Each chapter contributes solid insights from Catholic social thought applied to key issues challenging higher education today. The volume's richness comes in the breadth and depth of analysis, examining examples of successful projects at Catholic colleges and universities of the kinds of transformation needed to address challenges such as climate, racial, migrant, labor, and economic justice. But with just as much honesty, the authors analyze missed opportunities and failed attempts, and point to the road yet to travel, particularly in light of the inequities and challenges brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic. In clear and engaging language, each chapter offers the opportunity for various decision makers and stakeholders involved in Catholic higher education to deepen their commitment to the social doctrine of the Church while tackling the hardest questions facing our institutions to date. This book is a masterful example of how to apply the hermeneutical/pastoral cycle of see-judge-act to higher education with commitment, clarity, and compassion."
—MT Dávila, associate professor and chair, Religious and Theological Studies, Merrimack College

Bernard G. Prusak is professor of philosophy and director of the McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. His books include Catholic Moral Philosophy in Practice and Theory: An Introduction (Paulist Press, 2016).

Jennifer Reed-Bouley is professor and program director of theology at College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. Her article "Challenging Racism and White Privilege in Undergraduate Theology Contexts: Teaching and Learning Strategies for Maximizing the Promise of Community Service-Learning," Teaching Theology and Religion 18/1 (2015), won the College Theology Society's annual award for "Best Article Published in Theology."

ISBN: 978-15876-8935-2

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